As you will have been aware, we have been planning and working towards our Community Think Tank Hui on Well-being for over a year now and we are committed to doing it justice and making a positive difference for student well-being.  However, due to recent tragedies within our community, and on the advice of a number of professional organisations and agencies including the Ministry of Education, Ngā Mātāpuna o te Waihora Kāhui Ako have made the decision to postpone our Community Think Tank Hui which was to be held on Wednesday 14 August. The new date is Monday 25th of November. We apologise for any inconvenience and we look forward to coming together as a community on Monday 25th of November. 

Newsletter 3 Term 1 2019




On Monday 21st August the Minister of Education, Nikki Kaye, approved the Community of Learning – Kāhui Ako (CoL) submission from Ellesmere College, Southbridge School, Leeston consolidated school and Dunsandel School.

What does this mean for our school? A CoL is a group of education and training providers that form around children and young people’s learning pathways, and work together to help them achieve their full potential.

What are the next steps? The four schools will spend time working through the following:

  • Spend time working with all groups in our community to develop a shared vision for students
  • Decide how the different parts of the CoL will work together
  • Identify our shared achievement challenges and create a plan to address them
  • Decide how, throughout these steps and ongoing processes, we will involve parents, family, iwi and the wider community
  • Decide how we will document and share our learning as a community

Community of Learning – Dunsandel School is currently a member of the Ngā Mātāpuna o te Waihora cluster – a group of schools who connect and collaborate together to better meet the needs of learners throughout our entire community. The cluster consists of our school, Leeston Consolidated School, Southbridge, Ellesmere College and almost all early childhood centres in our respective towns. As part of the Ministry of Education’s initiative to form Communities of Learning or CoL’s as they commonly referred to, the Board of Trustees from each of the four schools have expressed their desire to move from a cluster into a CoL.  The acceptance as a CoL has to be approved by the Ministry of Education.  A key component of being a CoL is having an education pathway for the children who live in the area.  This would include tertiary and beyond.   If you would like to know more about Communities of Learning, please feel free to visit the Ministry of Education’s website with information for parents about CoL’s:


The Ngā Mātāpuna o Te Waihora cluster consists of Early Childhood Centres and Schools in the Ellesmere area. The Cluster works together in a variety of areas with the aim of supporting our tamariki that attend our Early Childhood Centres and Schools. This initiative is supported by the Ministry of Education. The purpose of our Cluster newsletters is to inform the Community of the initiatives and programmes the Cluster has running.

Initially the Cluster was named the Leeston Learning Community Cluster. In consultation with Taumutu Marae the name has been changed to the Ngā Mātāpuna o Te Waihora Cluster. We thank Taumutu for their support of the Cluster. Clusters across Canterbury have been established in response to the Christchurch Earthquakes. The Ministry of Education set the following Goals for Clusters.

Greater Christchurch Education Renewal Recovery Programme Goals:

  • Learners achieve the best possible outcomes
  • Young people become confident, connected, actively involved, lifelong learners
  • Young people acquire skills and qualifications that will enable them to make their own futures and contribute to New Zealand’s future
  • Maori and Pasifika learners and those with special educational needs are supported to realise their potential
  • Learners find their identities, languages and cultures valued and supported throughout their education
  • Learners can access suitable pathways through education and into work

Based on these goals our Cluster has established the following Long Term Outcomes for 2016 All schools and centres are effective partners in a Professional Learning Community that:

  • provides regular opportunities to share common challenges and successes
  • offers combined professional learning opportunities for staff
  • enriches the learning of all students
  • conducts transition processes that enable all learners to succeed
  • implements activities that engage the community in LCC planning

The Cluster Early Childhood Centres and Schools look forward to 2016 being a fine year for the children of this area. The Cluster will continue to work for the benefit of these children.

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